Thursday, February 12, 2004

Smilin' and Dialin'

As might be expected, I'm still smiling about the β-hCG test results. Judging by the numbers (43,861), Evelin could be six weeks along or even further. Or she could be less far along and pregnant with multiples. We'll find out more tomorrow ... on Friday the 13th. I can't decide if that is a bad thing or just funny.

[ASIDE: I keep catching myself writing "we" when talking about being pregnant; I know it's not uncommon parlance to use first-person plural to describe being pregnant, but it still strikes me as not quite right for some reason.]

The dialing in this entry title is because Evelin and I moved a little closer to the current age. We still don't have cable, but we just got cellphones. We've talked about it on and off for a while now, but with Evelin teaching a night class once a week, she needs to be able to call me to let me know when to come pick her up and it was a bit embarrassing to borrow a student's mobile when she couldn't find a pay phone.

Since we are planning to use these primarily as emergency phones, we opted for a pay-as-you-go system: specifically, the teen-oriented Virgin Mobile. Of all the pay-as-you-go systems, it seemed the most cost-effective (add at least $20 every 90 days to keep the account active), even if the cost-per-call (25¢ per minute for the first 10 minutes of use each day, 10¢ per minute thereafter; 10¢ to send text messages, free to receive) isn't the best. And, if it turns out we are using the phones more than that, then we aren't tied to a contract or anything: We can sign up for a standard plan and then sell the phones on eBay or something.

There are some downsides, however. The phones are PCS-only, so they work fine in metro areas and along highways, but there's no roaming on an analog network or anything. And our house seems to be just on the edge of a cell site: For the most part a signal was present, but it did have to stop and search every now and then.

Originally, I was going to give Evelin the phone for Valentine's Day, but I figured with the news and all it would be good to get it into her hands as soon as possible, just in case she needed to call me about anything from anywhere (or at least anywhere on the PCS network).

When I got home, I snuck the phone under the jacket, which was sitting on a chair in the living room, just behind where she was working on the computer. Then, while I was preparing dinner (a simple vegetable stir-fry: mushrooms, onions, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, and water chestnuts in a sauce of plum wine, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar over brown rice), I dialed her phone from mine.

I'd set her phone up with "Copacabana" as the ringtone. At first, she seemed to not hear it, so I redialed and walked into the room asking, "Do you hear that?"

Evelin said she did and, with a little encouragement, began looking. Of course, her first instinct was to look outside, which didn't help. By the time she came in from the porch, the call had been missed. "Oh well," she said before sitting back down.

I snuck back to the kitchen and dialed again. This time, she hopped back up quickly, and started to run upstairs, thinking it was either in one of the bedrooms or maybe in the basement.

I dialed again. She knew it was a cellphone, but thought it was outside, maybe the neighbor's. Our neighbor does not (at least to me) seem like the sort of fellow who would have a Barry Manilow ringtone on his phone.

I took her hand and we danced a little to the ringtone and I backed her into the chair. As she was getting up, I said "Hey, you didn't break anything in your coat, did you?" Evelin, totally ignoring the hint to look under the fricking coat, just said "No" and started to go back to her laptop.

At that point, I could stand no more and told her to look under the coat, at which point she found the phone. Finally.

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